The Top Job Sectors For 2012
Nursing and IT positions dominate the “best of” jobs list this year.
What type of work should a young person consider studying for these days? Or an older one considering a new career?
There are hundreds of choices, but sometimes it’s hard to determine which jobs out there have the best prospects for the future and the best salary and working conditions at present.
Fortunately, U.S. News & World Report has come out with its annual study on the subject. It has ranked the top 25 jobs for 2012 taking into account the prospective growth in the number of available jobs in that profession available, the current unemployment level of the position, median salary and of course job satisfaction.
Our nation is full of people from the baby boom generation reaching advanced age. It logically follows, then, that many of the publication’s 25 top jobs for the year are in the health care field. Similarly, a clear logical thread can be drawn from the spiraling pace and intensity of information technology to the numerous IT positions crowding the list.
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Three of the top five jobs are all in the medical profession. Number one atop them all is registered nurse. This is largely because (unlike other positions in medical care) the job is very expansive - after all, we find nurses everywhere in any type of medical facility - hospitals, clinics, small doctors’ practices, retirement homes, etc. This profession is expected to add over 700,000 jobs from now until 2020, while its median salary currently stands at a pleasing $64,690 and its unemployment rate is low, at around 5.5%.
The other health care jobs in the top five are pharmacist (#3) and medical assistant (#4). The former pays particularly well, with a median salary of $111,570 and a thin unemployment rate matching that of nurses. It’s also a fairly solid profession in terms of job security, since Americans recently have been consuming more prescription drugs than in the past. Medical assistant is a relatively low-level job in the industry that pays an accordingly modest salary (of $28,860), however demand for such staffers will be strong in the near future - it’s anticipated that more than 160,000 of them will be needed over the next eight years. This is more than double the figure for pharmacists.
IT is the second key sector for job opportunities this year. The best gig in this industry is for software developers (#2 on the magazine’s list). The median salary approaches $90,000, while the ranks of these professionals are anticipated to grow by more than 140,000 from now until 2020. Database administrators and web developers come in at #5 and #6, respectively. Both pay around $75,000 per year, although it’s estimated that demand for the latter will be around double that of the former (65,700 positions in the coming eight-year period).
Naturally, health and IT are not the only sectors that will see a boom in worker numbers over the years. Maintenance/repair professionals (#11) and elementary school teachers (#12) will also be in demand. Median salaries for such teachers have crossed the $50,000 mark and nearly a quarter of a million of them will be needed by 2020. In the financial sphere, no matter the state of the economy there is a perennial need for accountants (#21) and financial advisers (#24), both of which take home comfortable wages of $60,000-$65,000 per year.
The American jobs outlook is certainly improving, with unemployment dropping or keeping steady on a month-to-month basis since last August. But we’re not in the free and clear yet, so for many current and future job seekers it - literally - pays to know what the best employment prospects are just now.